Despite initial roar and threats, the ruling Shiv Sena is on a backfoot especially after the manner in which BMC carried out a coup of sorts by demolishing Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut’s office for alleged illegal alterations. The actress, who is hogging the headlines after her remarks on Mumbai likening with PoK, has taken a centre stage questioning the Shiv Sena’s political agenda comprising Ayodhya and restoration of Kashmiri Pandits.
Shiv Sena in a bid to play up its Maharashtra Pride card did not realise when it crossed a Laxman Rekha to drag itself into vendetta politics. On her part, Kangana checkmated the Shiv Sena which even after joining hands with NCP and Congress claims that it has not left Hindutva. She compared the demolition of her office with the plight of Kashmiri Pandits.
"In a way, you have done me a favour. I always knew what Kashmiri Pandits suffered through, but today I felt it firsthand...Uddhav Thackeray, there is a meaning of this torture and terror unleashed on me," she added in her video. She also pledged to make a film on Kashmiri Pandits, saying she finally understands what they went through,’’ she roared. Further, she also announced that she will also make a film on Ayodhya.
However, Shiv Sena MP, who was engaged in a verbal duel with Kangana, later had to remind the latter that it was Shiv Sena activists who had demolished Babri mosque and they are not Babri Sena. He also clarified that neither he nor Shiv Sena have animosity with the actress but her attack against Mumbai and Maharashtra will not be tolerated. Unfortunately, the Shiv Sena was isolated as its ruling ally NCP had to pull up for stretching it too far and making it a personalised one.
Without taking Kangana’s name, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said "undue importance" was given to those making such statements. "We will have to see what influence such statements have on the people at large. In my opinion, people do not take seriously (such statements)," the veteran leader said. Against this backdrop, Shiv Sena will have to now simply neglect at Kangana’s outburst and focus on governance especially when the government faces huge financial stress. The saffron party cannot expect her confrontation to further grow and thereby hut the non-Marathi and pro-Hindutva votes ahead of elections to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation slated for 2022.